Improving Ethics in AI


Ethics in artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming an increasingly important topic as companies adopt more automated processes. According to Marc Teerlink, Global Vice President of Intelligent Enterprise Solutions & Artificial Intelligence at SAP, 30% of organizations are fully automated at present with the figure expected to increase to 50% by the end of 2022.

While automating workplace processes and administrative tasks will help businesses, workers are concerned that AI will replace them altogether. People also worry that AI systems will increase the spread of fake information, which can also be AI-generated. What steps need to be taken to ensure AI remains ethical?

Fears with AI

The Unknown

In a global survey, only 34% of participants acknowledge that they use AI-driven technology when in reality most were using AI technology. The survey also shows that 70% of people fear AI, unaware of the fact that it is already a part of their everyday lives. This fear of the unknown can cause fear in consumers, who do not realize how AI works and its potential benefits.


Employees worry that automating tasks will eventually replace their role in the workforce. AI is not meant to replace workers, rather help remove administrative and minute tasks from their workload. While some job categories might one day be completely automated and involve little human involvement, new roles will be created.


Who can access AI systems? Although companies and organizations can benefit automating tasks, so can cyber criminals. Is that a risk worth taking, when it can potentially lead to data breaches? It’s vital to ensure that the proper measures are being taken to ensure data safety.



Consumers need to understand what AI technology can or cannot do as well as what it will and will not share. This is especially true for high-risk scenarios. Technical professional implementing these processes need to properly communicate how AI works in order to build trust in the system. This full transparency can be an effective way to put people’s minds at ease.


In order for AI to be considered ethical, it must promote privacy as a value that will be respected and protected. Utilizing AI begs the questions as to whether organizations and the government will monitor people without permission. Ensuring people’s privacy— and that data collected will not be misused or distributed to unknown parties—is crucial.

Artificial Intelligence and Ethics

As AI continues to grow and integrate with various aspects of business, there’s never been a greater need for practical artificial intelligence and ethics training. IEEE offers continuing education that provides professionals with the knowledge needed to integrate AI within their products and operations. Artificial Intelligence and Ethics in Design, a two-part online course program, is designed to help organizations apply the theory of ethics to the design and business of AI systems. It also serves as useful supplemental material in academic settings.

Contact an IEEE Content Specialist to learn more about how this program can benefit your organization.

Interested in getting access for yourself? Visit the IEEE Learning Network (ILN) today!



Schoklitsch, Hanno. (9 January 2020). AI: Helping, Not Threatening, Humanity. Forbes.

Walch, Kathleen. (29 December 2019). Ethical Concerns of AI. Forbes.

(18 December 2019). Ethics In AI: Why Values For Data Matter. Forbes.

Mintz, Steven. (13 December 2019). Ethics And AI: Are We Ready For The Rise Of Artificial Intelligence?. The Roanoke Star.

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